Mark Mitchell

The Practice of Cells Impossibility is the door of the supernatural. —Simone Weil Gravity and Grace, page 95 You hear a keyturn once.Only once You breathe steel,chipping paint, old bleach.You face a wall without windows. You’recold. Sit on that cot.lean on cinderblocks. You sit for yearsbefore you recognizethe lesson. You push the door wide.It turned only once,unlocking this cage.

Unfinished Eyes Only after the eyes are painted does one get his fee. The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 lines. Chap.VII, vs. 2

The eyes are complete. The artist gets paida coin to eat, for skill, for his used hours.Brushes get cleaned, packed, colors put away. Thinking of maps and roads, the artist stays—because this picture lives now. It’s poweredby completed eyes. An artist must pay to leave that face behind. Her look still weighs,strikes fire between shoulders. It could borethrough clean brushes. Colors find a way to run down scarred fingers. They start to playtheir own games of masks. Disguised as flowers,they complete her eyes. There’s no one to pay— no charge. Just a likeness that never saysits own name. Not his now, it becomes ours—Those brushed, packed, unclean colors. Look away— to streets, noise, commerce. He re-enters dayfrom his mind’s closed box. Leftover paint poursshaping complete eyes. The art has now paidbrushes. He cleans colors. Puts them away.

Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection is Roshi San Francisco from Norfolk Press. Another, Starting from Tu Fu was published by Encircle Publications last year. He lives in San Francisco with his wife the activist, Joan Juster where he made his living pointing out pretty things. Currently, like everyone else, he is unemployed. A meager online presence can be found at A primitive web site now exists: I sometimes tweet @Mark J Mitchell_Writer